Field Project – Team 1 : Support Sickle Cell patients by drinking Coffee

Our project was to sponsor a Catering Company at BIBF for few days to support a charity in Bahrain. We have considered some options for the charity we wanted to raise awareness of and the same for the coffee shop we wanted to make the deal with.

We were thinking about two charities, this first was “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” and the other charity was “Bahrain Cancer Society”. We decided first to contact “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” because of the increase in death among their patients in this year comparing to couple of years back. We had a good response from the society and agreed to work together.

Also we put some options for selecting catering company or coffee shop and started communicating with some of them like COSTA Coffee, American Bagel, and Al-Abraaj Restaurant. In addition to communicating to these companies we had a backup plan of dealing with the local cafeteria in BIBF in case we could not manage to agree with one of them.

We managed to get to an agreement with COSTA Coffee and Al-Abraaj restaurant, but we decided to go with COSTA only because of the time constrain.

We have created the project plan using Microsoft Project software and assigned the tasks between us, below are some of the tasks:

  • Searching for catering company, and make a deal with it.
  • Searching for Charity.
  • Get a required approval from BIBF and other if needed
  • Arrange meeting between Sponsoring Company and BIBF to make a setup and discuss their requirement and provide all facilities they need.
  • Arrange for meeting with charity society to discuss their input in project
  • Follow up the Coffee shop installation
  • Media cover, and informing the BIBF student and Staff about the project.
  • Closing the project

We think the main reason behind our success in the project is defining our goal and put a plan for conducting the project, distributing the task according to the capability of team member, following the project at different stages, have a conference call at each stage to discuss the difficulties we face.

There were many challenges in our project, starting from the limited period we have to do the whole project which was around 2.5 weeks only and which was not negotiable, and the fact that we are one of the smallest teams (4 members), ending to the fact that the regulations in Bahrain restrict fund raising without a prior approval which normally takes one month to obtained!

We believe we did good work regarding creating awareness about the society between the students in BIBF considering the number of booklets distributed. But on the other hand the funds generated from this project were not up to the expectation.

Our advice for any team doing similar projects are:

  1. Take enough time in planning, but don’t over plan, especially when your total project time is very limited.
  2. Make your estimation according to real figure.
  3. Conduct survey/questioner before start.

We learned a lot of lessons from this project:

  1. There is big gap between science and art in project management
  2. Define goal, very important to success the project.
  3. Assign tasks to the members with right skills.
  4. Main reason behind success of project is your team.
  5. The team should know the goal of project to make it succeed.
  6. Relationship between the project manager and project team should be strong enough.


Setting up COSTA mini branch




After setting up COSTA



Putting Project name stickers



MGT598_COSTA_02 MGT598_COSTA_03  MGT598_COSTA_05



Team members with Prof.



Team members with class mates, Prof, and our guest speaker.




Lessons from failed projects

CHAOS report in 2009 showed that the successful projects were 32% of the total number of projects, the other 68% of projects were either failures or challenged.


Many of us were part of challenged or failed projects. Marking project as successful does not change the fact of being failed project as many projects have to suffer change of scope, time, or cost that will change the whole shape of this project.

It’s stressful to fail in a project, but failure projects will give you some lessons you will never learn from successful projects.

Andrew Makar, the writer of this article mentioned 3 lessons can be learned from failed projects and was referring to one of the projects he was part of.

The project was an IT related project involve“implementing multiple web applications that supported resume collection and online candidate assessment”. Andrew was a business analyst for an HR recruiting project.

The project involved many internal IT professionals, consultants, and project managers. One of the main causes of the project failure is that they did not develop an integrated project schedule for the whole project. This in fact will raise many issues in such project as they will not be able to identify the critical path(s) or to have a good estimates for the time and cost of this project.

So Andrew considered that the first lesson from this failed project was “The project schedule is your friend”, as it’s important to build and manage project schedule for the success of any project.

From what I’ve learned in MGT598 and from my experience in my professional life. It’s very important to have a written, scheduled plan for any project to be able to identify the critical path and any bottleneck in resources or time constraints.
The other lesson Andrew set was “You can’t escape the project triangle even if you’re an executive”, where he was referring to the scope, time, and cost. As they were running the project, one of HR executives decided to increase the scope of the project while thinking that this will not impact the other constraints of the triangle which are the cost and time, and for sure this was wrong assumption as the change in the scope without even studying the impact and the outcome of such change had a bad impact on the project as they missed the deadline and the cost of the project was over what was budgeted.

The lesson was to make sure that the scope is well defined and any changed in the scope is studied with impact analysis highlighted. This lead us to the issue of scope creep as well.

The third lesson was “Project heroics only lead to project failure”. Andrew described how the consultant in the project he was working in was acting like a hero and was working alone saying “just leave him alone so he could work” where at the end nothing from what he promised was delivered!

We learned in our field project “Raising funds” that the team work is a key in any project for it to be successful.


Do you agree with these lessons?

What are other lessons you believe can be learned from failed project?

Have you been part of failed project and what have you learned?